I absolutely love to visit different science centers with my kids. I think it is one very excellent way to connect technical solutions with reality. Kids get hands-on training in all kinds of different experiments in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They will explore, learn, and experience! One thing is for sure, time will fly as we all, both parents and kids, are having so much fun. I think the best way to learn something new is to use as many of your senses as possible, i.e. hear, see, smell, feel, or maybe even taste it. Science centers are excellent places where play leads to knowledge. I see it as a bonus I can give to my kids which by no means replaces what they learn in school. Kids are very curious by nature, so why not take advantage of that? Yes, there is a cost connected to the visit. But if you are fortunate enough to afford it, so why not pay a visit to a science center?
If you ever go to Gothenburg (Göteborg) in Sweden, I really recommend you to pay a visit to Universeum. I have been there several times with both of my kids (ages 4 and 8 at the time I write this post), and I have really been pleased with what they offered every time. The great thing with this science center is that they mix both domestic and exotic animals, and nature with new technology, and exciting experiments. If you want to see everything there, one day is most probably not enough. Since I live in Gothenburg, we can go to Universeum several times per year. To save some cost for us as a family, it is possible to buy an annual science pass for an unlimited number of visits.
At Universeum you can see “Deadly beauties” with fascinating but venomous snakes. I have the biggest respect for these creatures, and would not want to meet one outside a zoo. I am just happy me and my kids have the possibility to learn a lot about them.
In the “Explora” area you and your kids can ride the mechanical horse, test your reaction skills, and experience the forest at night. There are a lot of challenges and experiments that show what nature and technology have in common.
If your kids want to learn some more about “Health” there is a place for that. Here you and your kids can test your flexibility, see if you can react as quickly as the football stars of Bayern Munich, and test how many laps you can cycle in 30 seconds. This is where you can learn lots of things about your body and soul, and can try plenty of cool challenges!
There is also a playground for the kids called “Job land”. I have found this place to be an excellent break for the kids since they get so many impressions at Universeum during the day. At Job Land, they have tables, chairs, and microwave ovens where you can heat up food you have brought with you if you don’t want to go to the restaurant (Roberta’s restaurant) or the cafeteria (Café Tukan).
At the “Ocean zone” Universeum have aquariums, which are among the biggest in the world, which contain over three million liters of water! In a world of blue, green, and turquoise you can see the life beneath the surface for several hundred’ species of fish. I really enjoy the glass tunnel which you can walk through and watch the sharks that just swim above your head.
In the “space” area you and your kids can explore how it would be to live in space. Imagine all the hours, maybe days, of preparations to be able to go outside your front door. One of the most famous Swedish astronauts is Christer Fuglesang and you can learn a lot about his career here.
One of my favorites is the “Teknoteket”. Here your kids can be creative with technology! Let them find the inventor inside themselves by playing, building, and creating things. There is always something new happening here.
There is a “Chemistry Lab” where to explore the magic of chemistry. Here it is possible to learn to understand that everything around us is a chemical process, and that includes everything that happens in our bodies, even our thoughts since we all are made from chemical compounds.
Before you enter “The Rainforest” I recommend you to take off your jacket if you have one on. It is hot and humid here. Universeum has built an 18,000 cubic meter, green rainforest cube. Here you will see the turquoise butterflies flutter by, Ibis and small birds fly freely over the treetops, and the croaking of frogs, the twittering of birds, and the calls of apes can be all heard over the thundering waterfall. It is all quite amazing.
Sweden is geographically a stretched county and nature does differ a lot from the north to the south. At Universeum you can take a journey from north to south, using the water as a blue thread to guide you through the Swedish countryside. Along the way, you’ll meet many of the plants and animals that live near watercourses.
Universeum offers educational activities for schools, pre-schools in their school program. See the Universeum homepage for more info.
When you come to Universeum you can see their schedule there for when the different guided tours start. Information about the guided tours is something I could not find on their homepage for the moment, though.
The best way is to know what the cost is, is to visit their own homepage: Universeum. The cost when I write this post, December 3rd, 2017, is:
As I already mentioned, I have been at Universeum several times with both of my kids. I have been pleased with everything they offer to experience, they do cover a lot in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). My impression is that they also update things, i.e. new experiments and so on, on a regular basis.
It is also possible to book the science center for events, but I would say that is more for companies. I have been here once for Christmas dinner with my colleagues. It was quite cool to sit and eat in the Ocean zone while watching the sharks and other species that live under the water surface swimming by.
One thing I really like is that my kids always get really exhausted by all the new impressions they process. This also gives me an opportunity to emphasize their curiosity to learn, let them ask a lot of why questions and allow them to experiment with “what happens if…”
Do you recommend any science centers where you live? Just leave a comment below and share so others can know about them!